My Real Life

July 26, 2013

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 11:01 am

1. What is your best secret cleaning tip?

Clean as you go.

When I cook, after I use an ingredient, I put it away.

When I finish with a measuring cup or spoon, it goes right in the dishwasher or I wash it off and put it away.

Otherwise, I never want to cook because I know there will always be a mess when I’m done.

I try to use the same method in general living.

Before I head to bed at night, I fix the pillows on the couch and make the kids put away the toys that are strewn about.

I hate waking up to a messy house.

Walking through a room, see something out of place?

Pick it up and move it right then.  Don’t walk by.

2. What is your favorite food to snack on during movie night?


Boring and predictable, but I love popcorn.

It may be my favorite snack.

So, on movie night, I want a big bucket of popcorn, cooked in a pot on the stove.

3. If it was up to you, what would you have named the royal baby?

I would have named that baby Spencer.

I think it would have been a nice tribute to William’s Mom.

However, I’m pretty much on board with George and I realize that King Spencer would have sounded weird.

King George is a proven winner.

Okay, not a proven winner, since one of the King Georges was insane, but it is a regal name.

And it was my Grandpa’s name, so it’s got my vote.

It’s historic, which is important, and I love Alexander and Louis seems to go nicely with the first two, so I’m good with it.

4. If you could be any Disney character who would you choose?

Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Have you seen the library in that castle?

5. What’s the most important part of a healthy relationship?

The ability to take criticism.

If I need to tell you something, I need to know that I can do so without you getting hurt or angry or upset about whatever it is.

If people need to hide how they are feeling about something, that’s never a good thing.

I’ve seen way too many relationships where someone says “Oh, I could never tell him that I feel that way…he’d be so upset!”


What kind of relationship is that???

April 12, 2013

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday,Uncategorized — Amy @ 9:01 am

1. Where do you hide things from your kids?

Hide things from my kids?

I would never do that!

I don’t know what you’re talking about and this answer is in no way influenced by the fact that Monkey Girl reads my blog on a regular basis.

Hide things from my kids…ridiculous.

2. What is your favorite rainy day activity for bored toddlers?

Nap time.

Is that an acceptable answer?


Well, at least not in my house since my toddler hasn’t napped in quite some time.

So, I’ll go with blocks and Legos.

You can make something cool, then knock it down, take it apart and start all over again.

And, really, you don’t have to be creative with what it is you are building, because it’s the knocking down that he’s waiting for, anyway.

3. Are you a punctual person or are you always running a few minutes (or more!) late??

More than punctual.

I’m Early Shirley.

Lateness drives me absolutely insane.


However, I live in a house full of dilly-dallyers.

And it makes me nuts.

I think a perfect example of the difference between Real Man and I is a story from when we were dating in high school.

He, Kim, our friend, Joe, and I were all going to see “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”

Yes, I know.  Please don’t comment.  It looked funny in the commercials.

Anyway, it was playing at a local mall (which now has the moniker of “Death Mall” because of the murder that occurred there…lovely) and I told everyone the movie started at 6:30.

We got there around 6:25, which is cutting it WAY too close for my comfort, but that’s okay, because it really didn’t start until 8:00.

Real Man has never let me forget that little white lie.

I just hate the feeling of rushing around, trying to get somewhere.

Franticness (is that a word?) and chaos make me nutty.

4. When eating out, do you prefer off the beaten path “Mom and Pop” cafes or tried and true national food chains?

I believe I’ve said this before, but I’m not a “tryer.”

I like what I like and that’s about it.

With food, especially.

So, while I’m totally down with a cute little cafe in a new town (we ate at a great one when we went to Kim’s wedding) and Mom and Pop places, places that are more funky or trendy, I tend to stay away from, because they tend to be funky and trendy with their food.

Whenever we go into the city, Kim, Erin and Michaela are always very accommodating of me and we eat somewhere they’ll have something I like.

However, if I can’t make that trip, they are totally eating somewhere awesome.

That being said, I’m not a fan of places like Applebee’s or TGIFridays or Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill.

That’s just a little too…I don’t know.  It’s just not for me.

5. Does your significant other snore? Do YOU snore?

Real Man used to snore loudly enough to knock things off the shelves.

Monkey Girl used to snore that loudly, as well.

However, Monkey Girl had her tonsils and adenoids out when she was five and has never snored since.

She talks up a storm while she sleeps, but no snoring.

Real Man just had his tonsils out and his uvula taken out (yes, the punching bag in the back of your throat) last year, and since then is a much more peaceful sleeper.

Which makes me a much more peaceful sleeper.


As for me?

I like to believe that I sleep like a beautiful angel, but think I probably look more like a Lindsay Lohan mug shot.

April 5, 2013

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday,Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

1. Would you go to your high school reunion?

I would and I have…twice.

I hit our 15 and our 20.

It was nice, in that all of that high school drama nonsense was gone.

Everyone was genuinely happy to see everyone else and it was a really nice night.

Well, for the 20th.

The 15th was kinda crappy.

It was at a hotel and I really didn’t enjoy it.

The 20th was at a hotel, also, but Real Man and I decided not to pay.

We went to the local bar, where we knew everyone would wind up, and waited.

A few of our friends wound up showing up there, as well, and we saw people who went there before the reunion and then, basically saw the entire class after the reunion.

Didn’t have to spend a dime and still had the reunion.

Where, of course, Real Man had to introduce people to me who said, “Oh!  Is this your wife?  Introduce me!”

To which Real Man had to respond “Um, this is Amy…she graduated with us, remember?”

Imagine us in high school and guess which one of us was the cool one and guess which one of us was the nerd.

2. What’s something that you’ve recently splurged on; either for yourself or someone else?

I don’t splurge.

I just don’t.

I don’t have the money for it (although, I guess if I did, it wouldn’t be called a splurge) and I don’t really have the desire for it, either, because I get so overcome with guilt when I buy something for myself.

Oh, it does say for someone else.

I guess I didn’t splurge, per se, but the Easter Bunny splurged a little on the Tardis tent he brought the kids.

So even though I am not the Easter Bunny, I’ll count that.

3. How do you handle your child’s fever?

With Tylenol or Advil.

And lots of snuggles.

I’m not a panicker with fever.

I remember, when Monkey Girl was a baby, our doctor saying that kids fevers traditionally get higher than adult fevers so a 101.5 may be scary for an adult, it’s not such a big deal with a kid.

104…that’s high.

But, generally, we hover around the 101.5 mark.

4. What’s the nicest thing to happen to you lately?


5. What is your current favorite song?

It’s a tie:


March 15, 2013

Five Question Friday!

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 7:36 am

1. What is one thing you wish you did not have to teach your children?

That not everyone is kind.

That people use words to hurt each other.

That someday, someone will deliberately hurt them because it makes that person feel better about him/herself.

2. What are you going to use since Google Reader is going away?

I’ve actively been ignoring this announcement, because I just don’t even have time to think about it.

I have no idea what my options even are.

I’m overwhelmed at the idea of having to re-enter all of the blogs that I follow into some new site.

This is really bumming me out.

3. British comedy; Hilarious or strange?


I think it’s so funny because it is so strange.

And strange may not be the word for it…it’s just very different from our American comedy, and that’s what makes it funny.

The Brits are also more free to laugh at things at which Americans cringe.

And let’s be honest…Brit humor is a bit more intelligent humor than American humor, and I’m a girl who loves a smart joke.

4. Do you prefer card games or board games?

Depends on the game.

I’d rather play Sorry! than Spit, but I’d rather play Rummy than Monopoly.

I’d rather play Clue than Go Fish, but I’d rather play Trash than Sorry!

See how that works?
5. Will winter ever end?

There was hope.

There was a glimmer of hope for a few days.

But it’s gone.  So, I think, perhaps, winter will never end.

In fact, (Game of Throne fans), winter is coming.


Don’t forget to buy the book, and if you’ve already bought it and loved it (because why wouldn’t you?) please tell a friend or leave a review at Amazon!

March 1, 2013

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 7:50 am

1. What was the most productive thing you have done this week?

Well, this is the perfect week to ask me this question and have me come out feeling like a champ.

On Sunday, after recovering from a full day play rehearsal and Monkey Girl’s birthday dinner with family on Saturday, I did the grocery shopping and made dinner and baked a cake for my Mom’s family birthday dinner at our house on Sunday night.

On Tuesday, after a full day at work I headed back to school from 5:30-10:00 for our dress rehearsal.

On Wednesday,  we taught for half a day, then had parent conferences from 2:30-6:30.

On Thursday, we taught for half a day, then had parent conferences from 1-5:00.

Today, work a full day, then we have to be back at school at 5:30 for the actual show, which also goes on tomorrow.

Add in all the regular Mom and homemaker stuff that has to get done when I’m home and productive may have been the perfect word to describe this week.
2. Enjoying the winter or ready for spring?


Is this a question?

Is anyone enjoying this nonsense weather?

3. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Is your spouse the same as you?

Interesting response for someone who has been writing about their private life on a blog for the past three and a half years, but I’m an introvert.

I can be extroverted if the situation calls for it, but in general, I am introverted.

Real Man is, also.

Depending on the situation, if we are out, one of us will pick up the slack and become the extrovert, but if left to our own devices, we are introverts.
4. Would you rather go without music or television for 1 year?


And that is a hard choice for me because I love music so much.

However, I believe I’ve documented my love for television, here, before.

I like to be taken away by the stories and not have to think for awhile.

I love music so very much.  I do.

But sometimes, I need to be taken out of my own head and when I listen to music, I very much am in my head, thinking and remembering and overthinking and that’s not always a good thing.
5. Have you ever been truly scared of someone?


February 1, 2013

Five Question Friday and Our Contest Winner!

Filed under: Contest,Five Question Friday — Amy @ 7:45 am

1. What is your favorite book to read with your kids?

I Love You Forever.

If you haven’t read this book, you may not wish to do so.

It makes me cry and cry and cry, but it is such a realistic story about the love that many mothers and children have for each other.

I know it’s how I feel about mine, even when they are driving me bonkers.

I also love A Fly Went By.

We laugh and laugh and say all the words together.

Great book.

I’ve actually read this one twice when invited in to the kids classes to read.
2. After having kids, what body part has changed the most?

My skin.

There seems to be much more of it on my stomach than there ever was.

Note: This wasn’t after having Monkey Girl, Monkey in the Middle or Baby Monkey.

Tiny seemed to make my skin just throw in the towel and say, “I give up.”

3. Would you ever go back to college? What would you study?

I’ve been back twice since my bachelors and have a Masters in Social Studies Education and a Masters in Educational Administration.

If I were to go back again, I would get my Doctorate in Educational Technology.

It’s such an exciting world we live in within the world of Ed Tech.

After that, if I went back for a fourth time, it would be for fun.

I’d study writing or literature.

4. How do you close a phone call? Bye, bye bye or other?

Hmmm…usually with a “Bye!” or a “Thank you!  Bye!” depending on with whom I’m speaking.

My grandma and my college roommate, DeeDee, always close with “MmmmBye,” which is one word.

I remember the first time DeeDee did it, when I called her the summer before college, and I was a bit taken back because it was like being on the phone with my Grandma, who had been dead for a few years.

5. What is the one food that will always be your “cheat food” on a diet?

Chocolate and bagels.

Not together.

Every now and then, I just feel like I need chocolate, particularly when I have a migraine.

And, every Sunday, I have a bagel.

With butter.

And it’s delicious.


…and now…onto the contest!

So, in order to make sure that no one had multiple entries, because we had a few people who commented twice, and I want to be on the up and up, here, I’ve listed our entrants in order, below.

1.  Carla

2.  Alicia

3.  Rachel

4.  Daniel

5.  Sandi

6.  Jeff

7.  Heather

8.  Darlene

9.  Veronica

10.  Mary Anne

11.  Allison

12.  Michelle

13.  Nichole

14.  Debbie

15.  Jamie

16.  Jenny

17.  Amy

18.  Stacey

19.  Eve

20.  Jen

21.  Kim

22.  Krista

I used the “Random Number Generator” at and here are our results:

The winner is:

True Random Number GeneratorMin: Max: Result:18

Powered by RANDOM.ORG


Stacey, your gift card is on it’s way, and readers, please take the time to head over to Stacey’s blog: From Grind to Whine.  She’s a wonderful writer and we go way back to high school and youth group.  If I’m not mistaken, I think my Dad even married her!  (No worries, she’s not my Step-Mother…my Dad is a minister.)

Thank you so much to everyone who entered, everyone who commented, everyone who reads this blog!

January 25, 2013

Five Question Friday!

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 6:00 am

1. Do you embrace or dread snow/cold weather days?

If I can stay home, I’m all for it.

There is not much that can compare than being snuggled up in the house with the monkeys and Real Man while the snow is falling or while the ice is coating the road.

If I, or anyone in my family, has to go out in it, then I’ll pass, thank you.

2. Which game show or reality show could you totally win?

Wheel of Fortune.

I would clean house on Wheel of Fortune.

I’d also rock The Price is Right.

Erin and I actually planned a trip to California to see The Price is Right, but then Bob Barker retired, and Drew Carey just isn’t the same.

Which is not to say we might not head out there some day to be on the show, anyway.

We just postponed it.

Because…I’m not sure Drew is ready for these ladies.

3. What is your preferred climate?

I like a warm climate that gets chilly at night.

Not hot.

I don’t love summer weather.

I think I’d be pretty happy in New England.

It’s not too hot…kind of like perpetual early fall.

Except in winter, of course.

But, I’m okay with winter, as well.

You can always add an extra layer, but there’s only so much you can take off and still be socially appropriate.

4. What do you buy every time you walk into the grocery store, no matter what?


Ground beef.

We are perpetually out of milk and ground beef.

5. If you see a spider/bug in the house, are you brave enough to kill it, or do you call for your hubby?

I have no issues with bugs.

Spiders, stink bugs, whatever…I can deal.

If there was any other type of creature in the house, it would be a job for Real Man.

I don’t do…creatures.

January 18, 2013

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 2:57 pm

1. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which 5 books, movies, people and foods would you take along?

5 Books:

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Shadow of the Wind  by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Hunger Games trilogy (they count as 1 book) by Suzanne Collins

Any book by Maeve Binchy (they just make you feel good)

5 Movies:  (because why wouldn’t they have a DVD player on a deserted island?)

The Holiday

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (they count as 1 movie)

Sweet Home Alabama

A Few Good Men

Pitch Perfect (this one is subject to change…I know I have other favorites, I just can’t think of a single one at the moment)

5 People: (Do I even need to answer this one?)

Real Man, Monkey Girl, Monkey in the Middle, Baby Monkey, Tiny

(I feel sorry for people who don’t have 5 other people in their family…or who have more than 5 other people in their family!)

5 Foods:


Peanut Butter



Cheddar Cheese

2. What is your thought on year round school? 
I’m not necessarily against it.
I’m not necessarily for it.
I can definitely see the merits, and it would cut out the “review” in many math classes, as the learning would be constant and would be building.
I can also see the burnout possibility for kids.
Maybe four days weeks, three day weekends, three months on, one month off…
As I said, I’m not really for or against it…I just don’t really know enough about it to make an informed decision.
3. Is your house escaping the flu this season?
So far, however, as I write this, I was sent home from school with a fever.
Fingers crossed.
4. What’s the temperature where you are?
27 degrees F

5. Are you a winter/spring/fall/summer person?

Gorgeous weather for hikes, walks, doing anything outside.
Not too hot, not too cold.

January 11, 2013

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 6:00 am

1. Flu mist? Flu shot? Or take your chances?

We’ve gotten both the flu shot and we’ve gotten the flu mist.

It just depended on what the doctor had on hand at the time of our appointments.

However, the kids and I get the flu “something” every year.

Real Man, however, believes that he is invulnerable to the flu and does not get the shot or the mist.

I’m a teacher in a public school with small children of my own.

It would be absolutely nonsensical for me not to protect myself.

2. Do your kids have iPads? What are some good educational apps? Price?


I have an iPad and I love it.

So do my kids.

If they weren’t so darn expensive, I would absolutely get a new iPad for myself and give the kids my old one so I could keep it all to myself.

I use the Nook app for reading, so when I want to read, we have an issue.

Except that I’m Mom.

And I win.

Anyway, Tiny loves Peekaboo Barn, Play Home Lite, Sort it Out 1, UmiNumbers, and Alphabet Zoo.

They all have free versions and the free versions are awesome.

Totally awesome.

Baby Monkey’s favorite app is called “Tinker Box” and it’s an engineering app with gears and chains, etc.

He loves it.

He also loves any app with trucks and cranes, and any app that involves coloring or creating, like Scribble Kid, Crayate, ColorStudio HD, etc.

That’s pretty much it for education on the iPad.

3. What are your favorite boy/girl baby names?

Jack and Emma.

I have no children named Jack or Emma, because they are not Real Man’s favorite baby names, but they are absolutely, 100% mine.

4. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, which apple do you choose to eat? (red/green, gala, red delicious…)

Granny Smith.

Baby Monkey and I eat a Granny Smith apple every day.

I’m all about the tart and sour flavors.

Regular apples just don’t do it for me.

However, I have to cut them first because I have some sort of weird skin sensitivity around my mouth to apples, so I can’t bite into them and have the juice or the skin touch my lips.

Otherwise, I look like I’ve just gotten a really bad Botox injection.

I’m a weirdo.

5. What is your favorite place to escape to for peace & quiet, to think? Why?

Hmmm…I don’t really have a place because I don’t really go anywhere alone.

In my mind, what I would like to have, more than anything, is a place at the beach.

If I had a beach place, (nothing fancy…just a tiny little one bedroom, heck, even one room, bungalow), I’d love to go down, even in the winter, and just bundle up and read and write.

I’d go for long walks on the beach and just be alone with my thoughts.

I would do just as well with a tiny mountain cabin where I could walk on trails and do my thinking, and then curl up by a fire at night to read and write.

Of course, this would require me leaving my family, so it’s a no-go.

Here, at home…I don’t know.

We have a room that we have alternately called “The Library,” “The Music Room,” or “The Reading Room.”

I like it, but it’s never quiet.

Because nothing is ever quiet here.

At least it’s a happy noise.

I do most of my writing, these days, at my desk in the living room.

It’s a rolltop desk that used to be my Dad’s and I love all of it’s nooks and crannies.

It’s a good place to write.

And, where do I do my thinking?

In the shower.

It’s 5 minutes of my day (during the week) that I am completely alone, because I’m the first one up in the house (Monkey in the Middle is starting to sleep just a tad later, these days, and most school days, I have to wake Tiny, which is a nice change) and so I get as much thinking done as I can in there.

Before the first little person opens the door and starts asking what’s for dinner that night.

And, I’ll venture a bet that I am not the only one who finds the shower to be the only place where there is a little peace.

January 4, 2013

Five Question Friday

Filed under: Five Question Friday — Amy @ 6:00 am

1. Have you set any goals/resolutions for 2013?

I think I’ve pretty much covered this thoroughly, so I’m not going to bore you by answering this one. 🙂

If you are unsure, scroll back to New Year’s Day and scoot to my “New Year, New Me” page.

2. Have you made any travel/vacation plans for 2013?

We are in the process of looking for an alternate vacation location at the Jersey Shore with the family.

Our normal shore vacation spot was completely eradicated in Hurricane Sandy, so off we go looking.

And, as you know from my goals for 2013, I’m hoping to be planning a trip to Disney.

3. What room is never cleaned in your house?

The office.

There are still things in boxes from when we moved.

The problem is, I don’t usually go in there, so I don’t really think about it.

That’s why I put it on the list of goals for 2013, because I’d really like it to be a functional space for both Real Man AND I.

4. What food must be in your house at all times?



If we have milk to drink and grapes to eat, everyone is happy.

5. Are you a hugger or more of a hands off person?

Good question.

Depends on who I’m with.

I’m a total touchy, feely, huggy, love with Real Man, my kids, and my nieces and nephews.

With Real Man and the kids, we are all always entwined, overlapping, and attached to each other.

Other than that, I have my space and you have yours.

And let’s keep it that way.

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